John Brennan, set to become the next director of the CIA, is facing numerous questions at the Senate confirmation hearing that will ratify his post.
Brennan was a top CIA official under President George W. Bush. The session came about after lawmakers received secret papers relating to the rationale for drone strikes on American citizens who collude with al-Qaeda whilst abroad.
Although members of President Obama’s own party are concerned, there is no suggestion that members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence oppose his nomination.
Brennan, who is 57, is likely to face tough questioning regarding his position on interrogation techniques such as water boarding, which was used by the CIA while he was a senior official within the organization.
Brennan denies he played a role “in the creation, execution or oversight” of CIA interrogation programs, but has admitted he was aware of them.
On Thursday, as he began his testimony he was constantly interrupted by protesters,which prompted the Committee Chairperson, Dianne Feinstein to order a recess.
Senator Ron Wyden has stated publicly he intends to press Brennan on the use of drones. He said in an interview with MSNBC:
“To make it very clear, I am going to push for more declassification of these key kinds of (drone) programmes, and I think we can do that consistent with national security”
Brennan said he feels that no new legislation is needed to allow the US to conduct operations against al-Qaeda anywhere in the world.
Read more about the Senate hearings.
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